Saturday, 7 November 2009

Coming soon - Elephant Auctions

Well it is almost that time again when the auctions of the next pieces of jewellery for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust will go live. For those of you unaware of the inspiring and life-saving work of the DSWT, you can read all about them on their website.

Since the Trust was established in 1977 it has successfully hand-reared more than 100 orphan elephants. That's amazing!

There are many reasons why elephant babies need rescuing. In some cases their mothers have been victims of poachers. In others the babies have fallen down man-made wells. How heart-wrenching must it be for a mother to have to leave her baby behind, when despite all efforts she has been unable to rescue her baby.

The DSWT is amazing. It never turns away an orphan in need of help, even when it is bursting full to capacity. And it has certainly been stretched this year as so many elephants have fallen prey to the droughts in Kenya. Without their mums to take care of them the babies can only hope that they are spotted so that they can be taken under the wing of the Trust and welcomed into the nursery to meet their new family.

So this year more than any other, the DSWT needs support. I hope that the six pieces of jewellery I have made raise a record-breaking amount.

The auctions will be up and running shortly, so keep checking here or here to find out when they're live. I've sprinkled some teaser photos of the pieces throughout this blog. As always, each piece is dedicated to a particular elephant, and the elephant's name is engraved on a sterling silver tag.

You can also help to support the baby elephants by fostering one. I foster Makena, a beautiful, motherly female, who I have watched graduate from the nursery in Nairobi to "big school" at the Ithumba stockades. Makena was just 7 weeks old when she was rescued. She is now 4 and loves to take care of the younger ones. She is becoming quite the little matriarch.

I also foster Shimba, a little boy. He's quite an aloof character, and must be one of the few elephants with an aversion to mud baths!

To foster your own baby elephant, or even baby rhino, visit the DSWT's website.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Moon

I have no new beads to show you this week, so I thought I'd show you the moon instead!

As I drove home from work today the moon was large and low, and had that beautiful golden glow that you only get at this time of the year. I raced home hoping that the clouds would stay away long enough for me to get my telescope out. I was rewarded!

This is my very first piece of astrophotography. It was taken this evening through my telescope and my strategically placed trusty Canon Ixus. It was just an experimental shot, and I didn't expect it to work at all, but it did! Ok, so it's not perfectly focused but you can still pick out lots of features. I need to get my moon map out to navigate my way around.

It's amazing how looking through a telescope puts everything in perspective. All the worries and irritations of the day dissolve as you realise how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things.

The clouds are coming in now, but it was a treat to have a clear sky to view this beautiful waxing gibbous moon.

I imagine that it won't be long before the image above finds its way into a bead, or maybe an entire set of beads. Or, maybe a piece of silver jewellery. You see, I'm inspired already!

If you would like to begin stargazing there are two fantastic pieces of software that will get you started. The first is Stellarium, and the second is Pocket Universe for iPhone. There's an entire universe out there to discover!